Rob Buckingham's Blog

Anzac Day

When the men scaled the heights they were met by merciless fire from Turkish guns, but they hung on, dug their trenches, and prepared to attack.

From April to December the allied forces held on till the order came from London for the withdrawal.  By then 7,600 Australians and nearly 2,500 New Zealanders had been killed and 19,000 Australians and nearly 5,000 New Zealanders had been wounded.  French casualties were as high as the ANZACS and Britain lost three times as many.  Turkey lost 86,000 troops.

From 1916 onwards, ANZAC Day was established on April 25 – the day the ANZACS landed at Gallipoli – as a memorial to honor and remember those servicemen who lost their lives serving their respective countries.  Since that time ANZAC Day has been extended as a memorial to all men and women who have sacrificed in order to preserve the freedom that we enjoy today.

John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a swaggie, cane cutter, miner and sailor from Australia, landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25 1915, at a place now known as ANZAC Cove.  With his donkey Duffy, he became the best-loved figure at Gallipoli as he carried the wounded to the dressing station.  Known as “the man with the donkey” he transported the wounded day after day amid fierce shrapnel fire.  He was shot dead on May 19 that year.  Kirkpatrick served in this way for just three weeks and yet we remember his heroism, courage and sacrifice almost 100 years later.

Almost 1900 years earlier another man with a donkey rode into Jerusalem also on the way to sacrifice his life for others.

ANZAC Day is a memorial lest we forget those who gave their lives to purchase our freedom in this world.  Jesus Christ established the Lord’s Supper as a memorial lest we forget his sacrifice to purchase our freedom not only in this life but also in the one to come.

“He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”

“After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:18-20).

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